Gwynedd recognised as one of Wales's Great Places by National Lottery

Date: 09/04/2018

Gwynedd is among five special places across Wales celebrating today as they share close to £1.5 million of National Lottery money to support their future cultural development.

From the North Wales slate heartland and coastal Colwyn Bay to the Pembrokeshire Preseli hills and the urban South Wales towns of Barry and Llanelli, the funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ground-breaking Great Place scheme will allow the five successful communities to explore how their unique heritage can help create a successful future. They will also consider how their cultural attributes can contribute to tackling wider issues such as poverty, employment, health and education.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the Great Place Scheme will be implemented across the UK but the Heritage Lottery Fund has designed a tailored programme in Wales that responds to the specific needs of the country, benefitting towns and rural areas alike.

Creating great places, for people

The funding puts heritage at the heart of joined-up thinking to create better places for people to live, work and visit.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Baroness Kay Andrews, UK trustee and Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said:

“Heritage and culture gives a place a unique identity and makes it special for the people that live there, be it the legacy of the North Wales slate industry or the beauty of the Conwy coast. Our Great Place programme will demonstrate how building on those strong roots can have a hugely positive impact on local economies in terms of health, employment and education, as well as instilling community cohesion and pride.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, we are enabling a step-change in thinking, encouraging local leaders to come together and recognise that heritage can and should be a driving force for change.”

New networks and practical partnerships

Cyngor Gwynedd Council is developing a bid for World Heritage status for the slate landscapes of North West Wales as the Cabinet Member for Economic Development on Cyngor Gwynedd Council, Cllr Ioan Thomas, explains:

"Our heritage is what makes us unique and it attracts tourists and visitors and inspires local residents and businesses. Our aim is to celebrate the incredible contribution of North Wales to the rest of the world by way of slate production and the export of product, people and technologies; and along with that celebrate the industry's inherent cultural identity which includes its influence on religion, the Welsh language, arts, social care and education in North Wales.

“The LleCHI project will also support our objective of realising the vision of regenerating communities and the local economy on the strength of this heritage, specifically by reconnecting local people in these communities with their incredibly rich cultural heritage.

“LleCHI forms part of a wider suite of projects and activities that are being developed to support the regeneration of our slate valleys – a priority for Cyngor Gwynedd Council and its partners as part of the World Heritage nomination process.”

Other project activities range from creating new networks and partnerships, to addressing inequality, to devising new ways to include both the built and natural heritage in the provision of local education.

Welsh Government Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas, added:

“The importance of place is rightly recognised by the Welsh Government as crucial to our future wellbeing and I welcome this investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund in supporting communities in the development and promotion of their cultural assets.

“There is no question that communities and culture go hand in hand and I look forward to seeing this programme contribute further to the good work I’ve witnessed across Wales in developing effective and practical partnerships which help highlight, sustain and enhance the many Great Places of Wales.”